It’s rye bread – but not as we know it
How thrilling to be introduced to a bread making technique that I’ve never ever heard of and with an exotic Japanese name to boot. And no surprise that it should be ace bread-baking duo Sylvia and Ivan from Mushitza who not only shared the recipe but added their own bread baking experience and ideas for inspirational shapes for the loaf. They say ‘it’s the fluffiest bread we’ve ever made’.
However, I’m still in January healthy resolutions, hair-shirt mode and a fluffy, white loaf is way down the list of what I want to bake and eat. Would this method make a rye loaf fluffy (and therefore appealing to fussy, white-bread loving teens)? Only one way to find out.
The extra stage of making the tangzhong is not arduous at all. It’s a bit cold in Dubai at the moment and the rye gluten is not very strong so it took quite a long time to rise each time (in fact I shoved it in the fridge overnight for the first one). The result was a really tasty, great textured loaf. I bunged a few raisins in one of the swirls which went well with the sweet taste of the rye. I’m thinking apricots and rosemary in an all rye version next time. Oh yes, they’ll definitely be a next time.
Great with some strawberry conserve and butter. Excellent with paté and cornichons. Will it stay moist and fresh for a few days as claimed? It passed the teen test so I don’t think it will be around that long to find out.
If you have a stand-mixer with a dough hook, make this today. Trust me.
Tangzhong Rye Bread – Original from Christine’s Recipes, adapted by Mushitza, further adapted by me.
Printable version here.
Ingredients for the tangzhong
30 g strong bread flour
150 g (ml) cold water
Ingredients for the dough
200 g strong bread flour
150 g rye flour
5 g dried active yeast
55 g light brown sugar
5 g sea salt
125 g (ml) milk
120 g tangzhong
30 g butter, melted and cooled
First prepare the tangzhong. Whisk together the cold water and flour (there should be no lumps) and cook over low heat (stirring all the time) until the temperature reaches 65ºC or until the spoon you’re stirring with leaves a trace. The mixture should have the consistency of something between crème anglaise and pastry cream. Leave to cool down to room temperature.
To prepare the dough, warm the milk to blood temperature (20 seconds on high heat in the microwave works for me) and stir in the yeast until it’s dissolved. Combine the strong bread and rye flours, sugar and salt, then add the milk and yeast mixture, most of the tangzhong (120 g – leave the rest for glazing) and egg. Use your hand or stand mixer equipped with a dough hook to mix all the ingredients into a soft dough then add in the butter. Knead in the mixer for 15 – 20 minutes. The dough is ready when you can stretch it to a very thin membrane before it tears (try this with a small piece). Cover the bowl and leave it to double in size (this took about 2 hours in my cold house).
Knock the dough back on a lightly floured surface, give it a quick knead just to let the gas escape, then shape it as you like ( a loaf or small buns). The images show how to make it into a three-part loaf. Transfer to buttered loaf tin or a baking tray lined with baking paper if making rolls or a free-form loaf. Cover with plastic wrap and let it double in bulk again (another 2 hours for me).
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Brush with milk (as I did) or the rest of the tangzhong and bake for around 30 – 35 minutes until nicely golden.
Click on an image to enlarge and scroll through the gallery.
This was a Fresh From the Oven challenge so you can see how everyone else got on with tangzhong if you pop over there. It’s the very last round-up on the site but we’ll still be baking every month. I’ll let you know the details next time.
Have I tempted you to try tangzhong?